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Lyme Disease Blog

Related terms: Chronic Lyme Disease

In Northeast, Weather Changes May Mean More Ticks, Earlier

Posted 3 days ago by

FRIDAY, Feb. 27, 2015 – Ticks in the northeastern United States are showing up earlier in the spring and expanding their range because of warmer temperatures over the past two decades, experts say. Although the Northeast is currently contending with record-breaking cold, the trend over the past 19 years has been toward warmer temperatures, the researchers explained. And this is enabling black-legged ticks that carry Lyme disease and other infections to begin feeding several weeks earlier than usual, the investigators found. This could increase the risk for Lyme disease over the coming decades, the researchers said. "The risk is changing with climate change. We need to prepare ourselves for tick avoidance education earlier in the season," said research co-author Richard Ostfeld, a senior scientist with the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, N.Y. "The fact of the matter is ... Read more

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Lyme Disease More Serious, Costly Than Believed: Study

Posted 6 Feb 2015 by

FRIDAY, Feb. 6, 2015 – Prolonged illness in Americans with Lyme disease is more widespread, serious and costly than previously believed, a new study suggests. The study authors – from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore – found that Lyme disease has a much greater impact on patients and the health system, costing up to $1.3 billion a year to treat. The investigators analyzed nearly 52,800 cases of Lyme disease in patients younger than 65 who were treated with antibiotics within 30 days of a Lyme disease test order and/or Lyme disease diagnosis. These patients were compared to a control group of nearly 264,000 people who did not have the tick-borne disease. Compared to the control group, Lyme disease patients cost the health care system about $2,900 more per patient, and involved 87 percent more visits to doctors and 71 percent more visits to emergency rooms ... Read more

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Health Tip: Safely Remove a Tick

Posted 8 Aug 2014 by

-- Promptly and safely removing a tick from your skin can help reduce the risk of illness and complications. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers these guidelines for removing a tick: Using a pair of fine-tipped tweezers, grasp the tick as closely as possible to the surface of the skin. Pulling upward steadily and evenly (never jerking or twisting), gently remove the entire tick. If the mouth parts remain in the skin, try to remove with the tweezers. If you can't remove the remaining pieces, leave them alone and allow the skin to heal. Use rubbing alcohol, iodine scrub or water and soap to thoroughly cleanse the wound once the tick is removed. Dispose of the tick in a container of rubbing alcohol, wrapping up in tape, placing in a sealed bag or flushing it down a toilet. Read more

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Culling Deer Herd Curbs Lyme Disease, Study Says

Posted 14 Jul 2014 by

FRIDAY, July 11, 2014 – Reducing the number of deer in an area can lower the incidence of Lyme disease and other tick-borne infections among people, new research indicates. "Our study demonstrated that deer populations can be manipulated to reduce human interactions with deer, infected nymphal ticks and human risk of contracting Lyme disease," the researchers wrote. White-tailed deer are the primary host for adult blacklegged ticks, which transmit Lyme disease to people. The study included nearly all the permanent residents of a Connecticut community who reported their cases of Lyme disease between 1995 and 2008. The researchers found that a hunting program to reduce the number of deer in the area led to a significant reduction in the number of cases of Lyme disease. Reducing deer density by 87 percent – to 5.1 deer per square kilometer (four-tenths of a square mile) – resulted in a ... Read more

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Guard Your Kids Against Bug Bites This Summer

Posted 7 Jul 2014 by

FRIDAY, July 4, 2014 – Children love being outdoors during the summer, but they need to be protected from mosquitoes, ticks and fleas and the diseases they may carry, experts warn. Ticks can transmit Lyme disease, fleas can transmit plague and mosquitoes can transmit West Nile virus and a number of other illnesses. "During the summer months, it is critical that parents remember to protect their children from bugs by using proper insect repellent and avoiding areas with high insect populations," Dr. Mike Gittelman, co-director of the Comprehensive Children's Injury Center at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, said in a center news release. He and the American Academy of Pediatrics offer the following tips for protecting children from mosquitoes, ticks and fleas. Don't use scented soaps, perfumes or hair sprays on your child. Apply appropriate insect repellants. To combat ... Read more

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One Tick Bite Can Equal Two Infections

Posted 3 Jul 2014 by

THURSDAY, July 3, 2014 – If you're planning to spend quality time outdoors this summer, new research may give you another reason to guard against ticks. In a New York state study, about one in 10 deer ticks were found to be harboring at least two harmful germs, and the tiny bloodsuckers could pass both infections to a human host through a single bite. "A third of ticks around here are infected with the Lyme bacteria, and about a third of those are infected with something else, too," said Felicia Keesing, a biology professor at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, N.Y. That means that about 10 percent of all ticks in her area carry not one but two potentially dangerous diseases. "If you have been exposed to Lyme disease, there's a one in three chance that you've been exposed to something else at the same time. Those are pretty high odds," Keesing said. She has been collecting and ... Read more

Related support groups: Lyme Disease, Babesiosis

Tick Exposure Can Occur in a Minute in Infested Areas

Posted 8 Jun 2014 by

SATURDAY, June 7, 2014 – Some areas in the United States have such high tick populations that you can be exposed to the dangerous pests within one minute, an expert warns. "There are areas in this part of the country that the tick exposure can truly be massive. You can walk into areas and literally encounter dozens or hundreds of ticks," Michael Dryden, a tick expert and professor of diagnostic medicine and pathobiology at Kansas State University, said in university news release. These areas generally have conditions that are ideal for ticks: lots of trees and vegetation, a water source, sufficient humidity, and wildlife such as whitetail deer and turkeys. Avoid such areas if possible, Dryden suggests. If you do go into them, spray insect repellant on the inside of your pant legs, on your socks, ankles and shoes. Roll your pant legs into your socks to reduce the amount of exposed skin. ... Read more

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Preventing Tick Bites

Posted 2 Jun 2014 by

FRIDAY, MAY 30, 2014 – Hikers, campers, gardeners and other Americans are flocking outdoors to enjoy the warm weather, and they need to take steps to protect themselves from tick bites, cautions an expert. Ticks love the warm weather, too, and can transmit Lyme disease and other types of infections to people through their bite. Fortunately, there are a number of steps you can take to prevent tick bites, according to Stephen Wikel, professor and chair of the department of medical sciences at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Conn. Wear long pants and tuck them in to high socks. It's also a good idea to wrap duct tape – sticky-side out – around where your pants and socks meet. The tape will trap ticks that try to crawl onto you. Adults should use an insect repellant that contains less than 40 percent DEET. But, children should use a repellant with no more than 30 percent DEET, Wikel ... Read more

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Prevent Tick Bites While Enjoying the Outdoors

Posted 14 Apr 2014 by

SUNDAY, April 13, 2014 – With spring's arrival, many Americans will begin enjoying outdoor activities such as hiking, camping and gardening – and they need to protect themselves from tick bites, an expert says. "There aren't any vaccines for tick-borne diseases like Lyme, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, ehrlichiosis and anaplasmosis, so the only way to prevent infection is to not get bitten in the first place," Dr. Christopher Ohl, a professor of infectious diseases at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, said in a Wake Forest news release. Ohl, who is also the medical director of communicable diseases for the Forsyth County, N.C. Health Department, offered the following tips: Use an insect repellant containing DEET on exposed skin, and treat clothing and footwear with a permethrin-based repellant that provides weeks of protection and remains through several washings. Tuck your pants ... Read more

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U.S. Lyme Disease Cases Vastly Underreported: CDC

Posted 19 Aug 2013 by

MONDAY, Aug. 19 – About 300,000 Americans are diagnosed with Lyme disease each year, which is about 10 times higher than the number of cases reported each year to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to a new report. The findings are from three ongoing CDC studies that are using different methods to determine the number of Americans diagnosed with the tick-borne disease each year. One study is analyzing six years of annual medical claims information from about 22 million people, another is based on a survey of clinical laboratories and the third is an analysis of self-reported Lyme disease cases from a survey of the general public. More than 30,000 cases of Lyme disease are reported to the CDC each year, making it the most commonly reported tick-borne disease in the nation. However, these new findings suggest that this figure is well below the actual number of ... Read more

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New Tick-Borne Illness May Be Misdiagnosed

Posted 1 Jul 2013 by

MONDAY, July 1 – Physicians say a new kind of tick-borne infection that's similar to Lyme disease can mislead doctors into thinking it's a different condition. Borrelia miyamotoi can cause flu-like symptoms that are similar to Lyme disease, researchers found. "In the few case reports available for patients in the U.S., symptoms of B. miyamotoi infection have included fever, fatigue, body aches, joint pain and headache," said Dr. Bobbi Pritt, director of clinical parasitology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. Pritt was not involved in the research. Researchers also think infection may cause dementia in the elderly, especially those who have conditions that weaken the immune system. Lab tests also show low blood platelet counts and elevated liver enzymes, Pritt said. However, scientists have developed a blood test that detects signs of the disease, and the infection has been fairly ... Read more

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Tick Safety Tips for Kids at Summer Camp

Posted 30 Jun 2013 by

SATURDAY, June 29 – When children head off to outdoor camps this summer, they need to be protected from ticks and tick-borne illnesses such as Lyme disease, experts say. Youngsters aged 5 to 14 have the highest incidence of Lyme disease in the United States, according to the Tick-Borne Disease Alliance (TBDA). Lyme disease is spread by deer ticks, which are found in many types of settings at outdoor summer camps, including woodlands, lawns and playing fields, tree stumps and picnic tables. "Deer ticks are cesspools of disease, and they put your children at risk of contracting Lyme disease and many other potentially debilitating diseases such as babesiosis, anaplasmosis, bartonella, tularemia and mycoplasma," Bob Oley, a public health consultant with the group, said in an alliance news release. "These microscopic bugs pose an enormous threat to our children, who are especially ... Read more

Related support groups: Lyme Disease, Babesiosis

Study Debunks Lyme Disease-Autism Link

Posted 30 Apr 2013 by

TUESDAY, April 30 – A new study failed to find any evidence to back up a suggested association between Lyme disease and autism spectrum disorders. Although a prevalence of Lyme disease as high as 20 percent (or even higher) has been reported in children with autism, the new research found no cases of Lyme disease in children when testing recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was done. Health experts are concerned that if parents suspect that Lyme disease has played a role in their child's autism, they may seek treatment with long-term antibiotic therapy. "Unless a child has been diagnosed with Lyme disease or another infectious disease, our findings don't support the idea of putting autistic children on antibiotics," said study senior author Armin Alaedini, an assistant professor of medical sciences in the department of medicine and the Institute of Human ... Read more

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Deer Ticks Carry Yet Another Bacterial Threat

Posted 16 Jan 2013 by

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 16 – People who go outdoors in several regions of the United States may have something else to worry about. Scientists report that there's another troublesome germ hiding in the deer tick that already harbors the Lyme disease bacterium. There are indications that the germ infects a few thousand Americans a year, potentially causing flu-like symptoms such as fever. In one newly reported case, a woman with existing medical problems appeared to have brain swelling and dementia caused by an infection. It is not clear, however, how serious of a threat may be posed by the germ. For the moment, Lyme disease appears to be much more prevalent. And four other germs that affect humans lurk in deer ticks. Still, scientists say the germ is cause for concern. "This would not be commonly picked up by any of the current tests for Lyme disease," said Victor Berardi, co-author of one of ... Read more

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Lyme Rash Reappearance Probably Signals New Infection, Study Says

Posted 14 Nov 2012 by

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 14 – If you've had Lyme disease in the past and you develop another bull's-eye rash – the hallmark of Lyme disease – you probably have a new infection rather than a relapse of your initial infection, according to a small new study. One implication of the study might be that since people don't suffer relapses from Lyme infection, it's not necessary to treat them with long-term antibiotics as a preventive measure. For people whose symptoms do recur, it's especially likely that it's from a new infection if the rash shows up in a different site than the initial infection. It's also especially likely to be a new infection if it occurs during the prime tick season, which is from late spring through the summer, the study authors said. "When people take the relatively short course of antibiotics that are ... recommended by the Infectious Diseases Society of America, the ... Read more

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